08.02.2016

Marjo T. Nurminen’s magnum opus on the history of maps praised in Finland and around the world

– ‘an excellent handbook for map enthusiasts, historians, and the Finnish public at large’

’…newcomers have to stand tall to win notice.  The Mapmakers’ World delivers an ambitious thesis with style.’

At the Finnish History Days, celebrated last week in Lahti, non-fiction author Marjo T. Nurminen’s magnum opus The Mapmakers’ World also nominated for the Finlandia Literary Prize for Non-Fiction was awarded an honourable mention by Historian ystäväin liitto (Society of the Friends of History). Four books received this mention in recognition of their special merit. The awards committee was chaired by Professor Marjatta Hietala.  Commenting on its choice of the Mapmakers’ World, the committee said: ‘The book provides an experience that is both informative and aesthetic. It is an excellent handbook for map enthusiasts, historians, and the Finnish public at large’.

Finnish reviewers have praised the book, and rave reviews are also pouring in from abroad.  The English edition The Mapmakers’ World – A Cultural History of the European World Map was very favourably reviewed by the Geographical magazine, published by the Royal Geographical Society. The review was written by Nicholas Crane, one of the foremost experts in the field, who was also elected chairman of the London Royal Geographical Society in 2015. Crane an explorer, non-fiction author and producer of programmes on the history of maps for the BBC is a champion of popular science, and has published, amongst other works, a biography of cartographer Gerard Mercator.

In his review of Marjo Nurminen’s book, Crane says: The last few years have produced a rich harvest of map books, so newcomers have to stand tall to win notice. The Mapmakers’ World delivers an ambitious thesis with style.’ Crane continues: This magnificent book is a monument to the effort and ingenuity that Europeans have devoted to understanding the wider world, a quest continuing to this day, and one that still relies on maps.’

The international attention the book has received is exceptionally delightful to Finnish authors. With dozens of books on map history published annually, the United Kingdom one of the leading countries in the field. Juha Nurminen, the book’s editor-in-chief, maritime counsellor, and map collector, points out that ‘the last time a Finnish-born map historian received international praise and attention was in 1889, when the explorer A.E. Nordenskiöld published his famous book Facsimile Atlas to Early History of Cartography’.

The Library Journal also gave the book a favourable review: ‘This title reveals how maps made the world and will find a welcome place in academic history and geography collections.’

More information:
Tuula Putkinen
Communications Director
Tel. +358 400 907809
firstname.lastname@jnfoundation.fi

Links to reviews

Geographical magazine (February 2016)
“The last few years have produced a rich harvest of map books, so newcomers have to stand tall to win notice. The Mapmakers’ World delivers an ambitious thesis with style…”This magni­ficent book is a monument to the effort and ingenuity that Europeans have devoted to understanding the wider world, a quest continuing to this day, and one that still relies on maps.”

http://geographical.co.uk/reviews/books/item/1533-the-mapmakers-world

Library Journal (January 2016)
”This title reveals how maps made the world and will find a welcome place in academic history and geography collections.” http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/2016/01/books/nonfic/soc-sci/around-the-world-in-eight-books-lj-reviews/

Comments from Historian ystäväin liitto (Society of the Friends of History) awards committee

The Mapmakers’ World – A Cultural History of the European World Map (John Nurminen Foundation, 2015) by non-fiction author Marjo T. Nurminen, M.A.:

‘With her book, non-fiction author Marjo T. Nurminen seeks to understand the world view passed on by world maps. Key questions of the book include:  What do maps tell us of ourselves? What do they say of our history, our culture, our attitudes and ideas? How did European maps change and evolve in a one-thousand-year period? For what purposes were world maps manufactured, who made them, for whom were they made and how? The book provides an experience that is both informative and aesthetic. It is an excellent handbook for map enthusiasts, historians, and the Finnish public at large’. “

The awards committee was chaired by professor Marjatta Hietala, with Sirkka Ahonen, professor, Markku Liuskari, teacher, and Veikko Löyttyniemi, M.A., as members. Professor Jukka Korpela’s Länsimaisen yhteiskunnan juurilla (the roots of western society) was selected book of the year.

More information: Marjatta Hietala, professor, firstname.lastname@uta.fi, Tel, +358 50 5620839

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